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Tour visitors to experience ‘Civil War History along our Waterways’


The Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula will hold its tour of Middlesex County, titled “Civil War History along our Waterways,” on Friday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Visit Middlesex County during its 2012 Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Civil War. Step back in time and enjoy the views and history from the silent sentinels, and its river-front homes. Walking shoes are advised.

The ticket price includes admission to the following six properties:

The Cryer House is at 31 Shell Court Road at Cedar Pointe near Urbanna. Whimsical animal statuary decorate the winding garden trails and manicured paved drive to this contemporary French country home facing LaGrange Creek and looking into the Rappahannock River.

The gardens feature native Virginia and Coastal Honshu Japanese plants suited to the micro-climate of Middlesex County. Many of the specimens are labeled with their botanical names. A sandy beach and pier extend the waterfront lawn and invite recreational activities or just a relaxing afternoon in a chair.

Constructed in 2003 by local craftsmen, the home was designed by the owners for comfort and low maintenance. An open floor plan accommodates large groups including family, friends and the many foster children to whom they have opened their home. The formal blends with the informal to feature new Shenandoah Valley furniture along with Philadelphia antiques including an early 1800 dining room suite.

Collections of Art Deco prints by Icart, oyster plates and nautical sailboats and lighthouses decorate this six-bedroom home. Movie fans will enjoy the theater room posters, while sports enthusiasts will appreciate the collection of signed baseballs, footballs and an autographed home plate. Mr. and Mrs. David Cryer are the owners.

Urbanna Light is at 105 Mariner’s Way next to the bridge leading to Urbanna. Standing majestically over the harbor of Urbanna, this lighthouse home appears to be a landmark from the past. Completed in 2005, the house is modeled after a lighthouse on a St. Lawrence Seaway island. The 650-pound Fresnel lens in the lighthouse once lit Australia’s Perth Harbor.

The main house and garage/guest house are made of bricks rescued from an old warehouse and have colorful slate roofs. Anchored on one side of the octagonal pool is a stone sculpture of a fisherman’s daughter searching the harbor. Hollies, natural grasses and evergreens lend privacy to the property.

Mr. and Mrs. David Cottrell are the owners.

Christ Church Parish is at 56 Christ Church Lane off Route 33 East, four miles east of Saluda. The church was founded in 1666. The original structure was probably wood and was replaced by the present brick building “to be finished in 1714,” according to the Vestry Book of Christ Church Parish, 1663-1767.

The churchyard includes a number of colonial tombs and is surrounded on three sides by a brick wall donated by the Garden Club of Virginia in 1942 with proceeds from Historic Garden Week tours.

Christ Church is listed on both the Virginia Historic Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places.

For centuries, parish churches in England have coupled the beauty of their churches with the beauty of flowers. Christ Church Parish follows this tradition. Especially for Historic Garden Week, enjoy beautiful floral arrangements celebrating the theme “Beauty and Holiness” and vestments reflecting the colors of the church liturgical year. The Rev. Paul J. Anderson, rector of Christ Church Parish, presides.

Millmont is at 987 Mill Wharf Road in Wake. The first of two historic homes on the tour, Millmont, built in 1810, derives its name from its location on a hill (mont) overlooking Mill Creek. The original four-story, one-over-one half frame house was built to take advantage of the spectacular views of the Rappahannock River, Chesapeake Bay and a private pond. Today, the shade trees and gardens still dot the long expanse of lawn where a hand-pegged barn is located near the house. A few remaining shrubs of forsythia and lilac mark the site of a former nursery.

Mr. and Mrs. W. David South are the owners.

The LeBoeuf House is at 1411 Wilton Creek Road, Hartfield. This private, contemporary farm house has a circular drive screened with mature trees, hollies, dogwood and wax myrtles. The 11-acre property is situated on a bluff overlooking the Piankatank River facing the Chesapeake Bay. The gardens have been designed to display color all year. The summer garden is resplendent with hydrangeas and roses and features a pool. The river garden includes a sunken overlook, as well as plants selected to attract birds and butterflies.

Mr. and Mrs. Robert LeBoeuf are the owners.

Providence is at 2 Bland Point Road in Deltaville. Fronting the Piankatank River, this original one-and-one-half story home is one of the oldest brick homes in Middlesex County. A brick located above the riverfront porch as well as county records dating back to the 1760s indicate this property once belonged to the William Morgan family.

The approach to Providence is impressive. The tree-lined drive leads to ever blooming, formal, sun and shade gardens that boast over 40,000 bulbs, an array of perennials and 100 hydrangeas. This beautifully restored home features two new wings with massive brick walls and chimneys, as well as a new guest cottage, pool and dock.

Mr. and Mrs. William R. Cawthom are the owners.

The day of the tour, visitors can meet with Master Gardeners and a docent on a restored boat from the Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park. There is no charge to tour the boat, which is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

Also open to tour-goers will be the Kelly House in Deltaville, and Lower United Methodist Church at Hartfield.

Refreshments will be served from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Church of the Visitation on Route 33 near Hartfield. Box lunches also will be available at the Church of the Visitation. Reservations are required by April 20. Send check for $15 made out to the Church of the Visitation and choose either chicken or seafood. Mail the check to: Mrs. David R. Suyes, 1172 North End Road, Deltaville, VA 23043; telephone 804-776-0666.

Tour tickets are $30 per person. Children 13 and older, full price; ages 6-12, half-price; ages 5 and under, free of charge. Tickets may be purchased on tour day at any of the houses. For internet tickets, please access Children younger than age 17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Advance tickets are $25 per person by mail to Anne Bland, P.O. Box 31, West Point, VA 23181. For questions. call (804) 843-2731. Please include a self-addressed, stamped envelope with check payable to The Garden Club of the Middle Peninsula by April 18. No refunds on advance tickets.

posted 04.04.2012

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